Friday, November 30, 2007

Entertainment in Worship

The following quote was published in 1971. I wonder what the good doctor would say about today's worship?

"Still worse has been the increase in the element of entertainment in public worship - the use of films and the introduction of more and more singing; the reading of the Word and prayer shortened drastically, but more and more time given to singing. You have a "song leader" as a new kind of official in the church, and he conducts the singing and is supposed to produce the atmosphere. But he often takes so much time in producing the atmosphere that there is no time for preaching in the atmosphere. This is a part of this whole depreciation of the message.

Then on top of this, there is the giving of testimonies. It has been interesting to observe that as preaching as such has been on the decline, preachers have more and more used people to give their testimonies; and particularly if they are important people in any realm. This is said to attract people to the Gospel and to persuade them to listen to it. If you can find an admiral or a general or anyone who has some special title, or a baseball player, or an actor or actress or film-star, or pop-singer, or somebody well-known to the public, get them to give their testimony. This is deemed to be of much greater value than the preaching and the exposition of the Gospel. Have you noticed that I have put all this under the term "entertainment"? That where I believe it truly belongs. But this is what the Church has been turning to as she turned her back upon preaching."
(D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers, p. 17)

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